Haploid Parthenogenetic Embryos Exhibit Unique Stress Response to pH, Osmotic and Oxidative Stress

Daphne Norma Crasta, Ramya Nair, Sandhya Kumari, Rahul Dutta, Satish Kumar Adiga, Yulian Zhao, Nagarajan Kannan, Guruprasad Kalthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preimplantation-stage embryos are susceptible to various types of stress when cultured in vitro. Parthenogenetic embryos that lack spermatozoa contribution exhibit aberrant developmental dynamics due to their uniparental origin. Herein, we assessed whether the absence of paternal genome affects the susceptibility of the embryos to pH, osmotic and oxidative stress. Haploid parthenogenetic embryos (HPE) (activated oocytes with 1 pronucleus and 2 polar bodies) were generated by incubating cumulus oocyte complexes of Swiss albino mice with 10 mM strontium chloride for 3 h. Normally fertilized embryos (NFE) (fertilized oocytes with 2 pronuclei and 2 polar bodies) were derived using in vitro fertilization. At 2-cell stage, both HPE and NFE were exposed to various stressors including pH (6.8 to 8.2), osmotic (isotonic, hypotonic, and hypertonic), and peroxidatic oxidative (H2O2, 25 µM) stress. Endoplasmic reticulum stress response, mitochondrial membrane potential, and the rate of blastocyst development were assessed. HPE were susceptible to alteration in the pH that was well tolerated by NFE. Similarly, HPE displayed remarkable difference in sensitivity to hypertonic stress and oxidative stress compared to NFE. The results clearly indicate that the oocytes that develop into embryos in the absence of paternal contribution are more vulnerable to environmental stressors, further highlighting the importance of spermatozoa contribution and/or the ploidy status in mitigating these stressors and towards healthy early embryo development. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2137-2151
Number of pages15
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Haploid parthenogenetic embryos
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential
  • Osmotic stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • pH stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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